Mayo Clinic nutritionists have recently discouraged families from applying special autism diets for their afflicted children. But Julie Matthews, a Certified Nutrition Consultant and author of 'Nourishing Hope', disagrees. She says, "Diet can help, sometimes tremendously. It's rare to see diet not help in some way."
"Their opinion seems misinformed and unwarranted," claims Julie. Regarding autism diets, the Mayo Clinic dissuades parents by saying "there is no scientific evidence" and that autism diets are "neither easily introduced nor easily followed long term," identifying "complexities" as reason for pause.
"With so many seeing improvements with autism diets, I'd prefer they not discourage families from trying diet simply because it might be challenging," Julie states, "rather they should investigate why they these diets help." An increasing body of autism research supports the need for dietary intervention, including a recent report from the National Institutes of Health.
To help with autism, Julie recommends avoiding gluten and casein (wheat and dairy) because these foods are known to affect a brain response similar to morphine leading to foggy thinking and food cravings in children. Also suggested is introducing foods that are easy to digest, rich in good bacteria, and packed with nutrients such as homemade broths, naturally fermented foods, and pureed vegetables hidden in meatballs, as well as supplements such as cod liver oil, probiotics (good bacteria), B6, magnesium, and zinc.
Julie sides with sound science and overwhelming parent experience when she recommends special diets for autism. The strategy targets the physical symptoms of autism that are commonly overlooked. She says, "Different diets serve varied needs to help alleviate symptoms and promote healing. The key is finding and refining a diet that best serves an individual child."
Julie explains how Diet can help AutismWebsite: Nourishing Hope: Nutrition & Diet for Autism Spectrum Disorders